Turning to Native rain dance in time of droughtBy Diana Marcum
SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, California (Los Angeles Times) – The woman in line at the bank said she had already sold all her cattle and was now selling her land.
It was one too many tales of drought hardship for Laynee Reyna, also known as She Who Makes Things Happen — a name given to her by a shaman decades ago.
She felt a great spirit seize her. In the crowded bank lobby, the 79-year-old raised her arms.
"Everyone in this town has got to come together and pray and dance for rain, and we've got to do it now," she said.
Teresa Lavagnino, depositing checks at a teller's window, rushed over.
"Can you do it? Can you make that happen?" she asked. "I can spread the word."
The first San Juan Intertribal rain dance was held the next Sunday, two days after Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state drought emergency.
About 75 people, including the mayor and the local priest, formed a circle on the lawn of Old Mission San Bautista — quite a crowd in a city of 1,900.
"In a small town, when you call a rain dance, word gets around," said Ray Sanchez, a barbecue chef and construction worker of Apache heritage. (Read More)